John Dunlop’s book covers the September 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis in southern Russia and the October 2002 Dubrovka theatre siege in Moscow, giving objective yet controversial accounts of both tragedies. While the chief responsibility obviously remains that of the terrorists, the book amounts to a severe indictment of the conduct and morality of the Russian authorities.
At the end of an illuminating and closely-argued analysis of the book, Putley asks:
In today’s Russia it seems as if the heirs of evil still occupy positions of power—just as if Nazis had been permitted to remain in office in the postwar period. One must ask: how many years will it be before they are finally gone?